Throwing Stones

You know how it only takes a small stone to break a window?  Well, sometimes it only takes two sentences to ruin a day.  Confused?  Stay tuned.

Today is the seventh day that Brian’s been out of town.  He won’t be back for four more days, and everybody in the family is feeling the strain.  I’m exhausted, the house is a mess, and Katie has begun throwing Category Five temper tantrums. She’s developed a high-pitched scream that sounds like a steamboat whistle and has been clocked at around 120 decibels (roughly the same level as a sandblaster or a loud rock concert).

So you can imagine my apprehension about taking the children to church today, especially considering that our ward has Sacrament Meeting last.  But I decided to stick it out.  It was the right thing to do.

And know what?  It wasn’t terrible.  It wasn’t fun either, but it was bearable.  We made it all the way to speaker #4 in Sacrament Meeting before I ducked out early.  The kids had begun to squabble over toys, and Katie had started steamboating.  Time to go.

The kids had lasted much longer than I anticipated, so I left feeling rather satisfied and happy with myself, until we rounded the hallway corner.  A portly, balding older man with a cane caught my eye.

“The way your kids scream is awful,” he said.

“Yeah, Katie’s a screamer,” I said with a laugh, thinking he was commiserating about the difficulty of raising a toddler.

“No,” he growled.  “I mean your kids are awful.  Their behavior, the screaming . . .”

He went on and obviously had more to say, but fortunately I had already turned my back and headed down the hall.  The noive!  THE NOIVE!  Did he think I wasn’t aware of my kids’ behavior?  I HAVE LEFT CHURCH EARLY!  OF COURSE I WAS AWARE!  How on EARTH did he think how this going to HELP or CHANGE ANYTHING?


[deep breathing, deep breathing]

I suppose you could say this was kind of the last straw for me.  I was having a happy moment!  He ruined it!

What has happened to the secular LDS culture that makes people think it’s okay to say such judgmental things?  Well . . . I know it’s probably been going on for ages in many LDS communities, but ithappens a lot in this ward.  To me.  I’ve put up with it for four years; to tell the truth, this makes me kind of happy to move away.  (Maybe God sent this on purpose to make me not so sad to leave all the truly wonderful Christlike people around here?)

And I’ll blithely refrain from recounting the many times my kids have been bullied in Primary and Cub Scouts.  It’s another reason why I want to get away, but it’s off-topic.

And to think I had almost skipped church to avoid something like this.  But what would that teach my kids?  That church is only for when it’s convenient?  When it’s easy?  For when you don’t have a kid with autism and a cranky toddler and a husband who’s far away?

How many other people decide to stop coming to church to avoid jerks like this guy?

Okay, rant over.  Peace out.